Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy From Avotaynu

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 18, Number 35 | September 17, 2017

Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.

Past issues of Nu? What's New? are archived at
Underlined words are links to sites with additional information.

Shana Tovah!
Happy (Jewish) New Year to all!! May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year.

15 Most-Requested Legacy Family Tree Webinars Free for One Week
In the past seven years, Legacy Family Tree Webinars has produced 583 online genealogy classes of value to family history research. These webinars are free of charge when being watched live, and for the seven days following the presentation. Thereafter, it is by paid subscription only.

In honor of its seventh anniversary, the organization is making the 15 most-requested members-only classes free of charge until September 22. To see which ones are being offered, see

Readers should browse these collections of past webinars to determine if access would enhance their ability to do family history research. The lectures are presented by some of the world’s top genealogists. For example, on September 19, Tom Jones will lecture on “When Does New-Found Evidence Overturn a Previous Conclusion.” Jones credentials include Certified Genealogist, Certified Genealogical Lecturer, Fellow American Society of Genealogists, Fellow National Genealogical Society and Fellow Utah Genealogical Association. On October 29, Garri Regev, a past president of the Israel Genealogical Society and Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA), will lecture on “Jewish Family Research Challenges.” The same day, Rose Feldman, also of IGRA, will lecture on “Filling in the In-Between of the Jewish BMD.”

Search the Legacy Family Tree Webinars library at to determine if access to past lectures warrant a personal subscription to the service.

Upcoming USCIS Webinar: “Naturalization Numbers Since 1906”
If you need to request copies of U.S. naturalization records, would you know which document number to use? Most record-keeping agencies require customers to request naturalization records by number. This includes the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which requires a Certificate File number. But the naturalization process begun on September 27, 1906, generated many different numbered documents. What numbers are useful and in what context?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will present a webinar, “Naturalization Numbers Since 1906” on September 26 at 1:00pm Eastern. The webinar reviews naturalization paperwork and processes since 1906 and discusses what naturalization numbers mean to your research.

To attend the session, go to Under “Live Webinars,” scroll down and click “Worth Repeating Webinar: Tuesday, Sept 26.” Then click “Attend Session.” The webinar will not be recorded so be sure to join it live.

Auckland War Museum Places Its World War II Records Online
Jan Meisels Allen, chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee, reports that the Auckland (New Zealand) War Museum has placed their collection of more than 100,000 World War II records online. Information provided includes name, service number, gender and armed force branch. Also, if known, last rank, date of death and birth. In some cases, a photograph is included.

The public is invited to add what they know about the New Zealand servicemen and women. More than 140,000 New Zealanders were dispatched to serve overseas with 104,000 serving with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

The collection is at

Now Available: Unbroken Chain – Third Edition – Volume 2
Author Neil Rosenstein has devoted the past 27 years to updating and improving his landmark work The Unbroken Chain and now is in the process of publishing its Third Edition, a multi-volume work. Volume 1 was published in March and now Volume 2 has just been published. When completed, the Third Edition will span five volumes.

A complete list of names in volumes 1 and 2 as well as their Tables of Contents can be found at

Specifications for Volume 1: 8½" x 11" 862 pp. hardcover $89.00+shipping
Specifications for Volume 2: 8½" x 11" 744 pp. hardcover $89.00+shipping

FamilySearch Adds 20 Million Records This Week
A list of recent additions to FamilySearch, 20 million indexed records and images, can be found at This site provides direct links to the individual collections.

The unusually large number of additions is the result of adding indexes and images of six Denmark censuses from 1860–1906 and additions to the “Netherlands Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records.” There is now nearly 35M records in the latter collection. Other additions include records from BillionGraves, England, French Polynesia, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru, Poland (church records), Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Venezuela.

The only U.S. records added are indexes and images for “War Relocation Authority Centers, Final Accountability Rosters, 1942–1946.” FamilySearch describes this collection as “...alphabetical lists of evacuees housed in relocation centers from 1942–1946.” After receiving no results for the surnames Levy, Cohen and Smith, there were numerous results for the surname Takahashi. It demonstrated it was a list of Americans of Japanese descent held in internment (“relocation”) centers during World War II.

Note that at the website, announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date. Also note that counts shown in the announcement are the number added, not the total number available in the collection, which can be greater.

New at
Ancestry has added/updated the following record groups at their site. Note that they do not indicate how many entries have been added. Announced collections may not be complete for the dates specified and will be added at some later date.

New Collections
Montana, Birth Index, 1870–1986

Updated Collections
U.S., Obituary Collection, 1930–2017
Web: Greenville County, South Carolina, Obituary Index, 1901–1975
U.S., Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection, 1847–2017
Montana, Death Index, 1907–2015

MyHeritage Adds 14 Million Australian Vital Records
MyHeritage has released more than 14M Australian birth, baptismal, marriage, burial and death records from the state of Victoria, spanning 1836 to 1942. The database can be found at

ITS/USHMM Statistics
Peter Landé of the United States Holocaust Museum Memorial Museum (USHMM) reports that since receiving a digital copy of International Tracing Service holdings, the USHMM has fulfilled more than 24,000 individual requests for information relating to Holocaust survivors, their families and families of victims. Requests for searches of USHMM holdings by survivors or their representatives can continue to be sent to The Museum regrets that other individual search requests cannot be handled in a timely manner at this time.

In addition, more than 4.2 million names are searchable online through the Museum's Holocaust and Survivors and Victims Database located at More than 2 million of these are directly linked to the documents on which they appear, and digital copies can be ordered online free of charge.

FamilySearch Offering Services in Preserving Records Damaged by Hurricane Harvey
David Rencher, Chief Genealogist for FamilySearch posted the following to Facebook:

"To our friends affected by the devastation brought to various areas by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we continue to keep you in our minds and prayers. We are aware of many public, school, and academic libraries, courthouses, and archives which may have been severely damaged. We are interested to learn more about the record repositories that incurred damage. Are there genealogically significant records needing attention? We want to help where possible by:
   • Providing digital replacement copies of damaged records if we photographed them in the past.
   • Exploring the possibility of enlisting volunteers and other help to salvage and rescue records damaged or at risk.
   • Offering to digitize genealogically significant records that have not yet been photographed and preserved.

Please share with us any information you may have to, and please share this post with others who may also know more about the various areas’ needs surrounding record preservation."

Ancestry Sponsoring Ireland’s “Back to Our Past” and “50 Plus Expo”
Ancestry once again will sponsor both “Back to Our Past” and “50 Plus Expo,” Ireland’s premier family history event and event for people 50 and over. The shows offer visitors genealogy guidance and resources—whether you are new to family history or have been researching for years. The “50 Plus Expo” are lifestyle events for people who want to be inspired in their retirement and cover a range of interests, needs and concerns to people 50 and over. The shows are run throughout Ireland (Cork, Killarney, Athlone, Galway and Dublin). The Dublin show, this year October 20–22, attracts on average of 15,000 people and 220 exhibitors every year. Additional information about the events can be found at

Have You Registered to Receive Notices from Avotaynu Online?

Have you subscribed to Avotaynu’s latest venture: Avotaynu Online? We have created a special sign-on site at By registering, you will receive a weekly notice of items added to the site.

By virtue of its focus on the in-depth reporting of specific subjects, Avotaynu Online will be entirely distinct from the existing print journal, AVOTAYNU, which for over three decades has covered the broad spectrum of Jewish family history research, and from the weekly Nu? What’s New?, which reports breaking stories in the world of genealogy.

 Avotaynu Online is free of charge. 

Nu? What's New? is published weekly by Avotaynu, Inc.
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